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Fine Arts Museum of Nantes
arts museum in Nantes, France
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Fine Arts Museum of Nantes
arts museum in Nantes, France
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10 Rue Georges Clemenceau
Nantes
France

kgirton's picture

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This museum of fine art focuses on its plethora of western paintings ranging from 13th century to the contemporary.

The founding of this museum and a few others across France was a collaborative effort to put art “acquired” from the revolutionary period in France back in its rightful place. This included pieces looted during the French Revolution as well as Napoleon’s looting of other places. But, you know, since a lot of the previous owners of these paintings had died, we’ll borrow them for our museum.

Around 1809 they also received 43 paintings, kind of like startup capital, from what would become the Lourve. The rest came from François Cacault’s personal collection. He was one of those wealthy guys that didn’t get his head chopped off and was liked by Napoleon.

The first building, opened in 1830, proved to be too small and ineffective so a design competition was held. Clément-Marie Josso, a Nantes native, won and the building opened in 1900 (only took 70 years - I guess they were a bit laissez-faire about the need to present the art to the public).  

In 2008, the museum held another competition for renovation and conservation efforts. It was won by English Architectural group Stanton Williams who also worked on the 2012 London Olympics and Compton Verney House.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Musée d'Arts de Nantes

The Fine Arts Museum of Nantes, along with 14 other provincial museums, was created, by consular decree on 14 Fructidor in year IX (31 August 1801). Today the museum is one of the largest museums in the region.

The facades, roof and stairs in the building that houses the art collections have been registered as historical monuments since 29 October 1975.

On 18 December 2011 the museum closed its doors for what was initially expected to be two years at most, to carry out extension expansion work. Due to problems associate with the discovery of ground water in the foundations, which required almost four years of additional work, the reopening of the entire building (renamed the "Art Museum of Nantes") was postponed until 23 June 2013.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Musée d'Arts de Nantes.